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Old 26th March 2010, 10:18   #31
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Oxymoron ?!
I occasionally visit Gujarat (wifey from there) and whenever I do, I do frequent drives along the Rajkot - Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad - Mehsana stretches !!
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Old 26th March 2010, 10:35   #32
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I am not surprised. Barring a few exceptions, our cops generally are cheap thugs in uniform.
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Old 26th March 2010, 10:45   #33
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I don't agree, I find most long-distance highway truckers drive more responsibly than the M800s and Mercs driven by supposedly educated people with culture and etiquette. The truckers dip headlights, give way to overtake and generally drive in a more orderly - and safe fashion - compared to buses and private cars. I hope that with my long record of highway driving, I am at liberty to give this opinion. I believe the truckers' job is one of the most difficult and challenging in India, I feel sorry for their plight.
+1 to that. Interstate truckers are one of the most disciplined drivers one can see in Indian roads. I have seen them waiting patiently for those cars over take the hazardously at toll gates just to get ahead in the queue, give way when asked, dip lights, etc. It is the trucks driven inside the state for short distances are a menace in highways. Private buses, are a nightmare.

At times the truckers do get into our nerves, when they try to overtake each other, occupying all the lanes, but, that is ok, not a bad situation overall.

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Old 26th March 2010, 13:16   #34
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True, It's the sand lorries, trucks on local work, Minitrucks, Maxicabs, Etc. which are like YamaDhoot. Buses will behave very well unless there is someone ahead of them. They will not let you overtake them until the road ahead is clear.
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Old 26th March 2010, 23:40   #35
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There is one other angle to highway economics. I believe that most trucker operate on a fixed fee basis - i.e. they get paid a fixed pre-determined sum by the fleet owner for a particular route which is to cover diesel, tolls, food and maintenance, which means that the truck driver has to manage within that sum else he will lose money from his pocket. That is why you will see many truckers avoiding toll roads (e.g. Baroda-A'bad expressway) or cutting down on costs of maintenance.
I agree that truckers are the most disciplined and patient drivers on highways, and as you said better than many so-called educated drivers. I would say that running a poorly maintained vehicle is not the correct thing to do. As an example, it is difficult at times at night to see a truck running without proper rear lamps. It could turn out to be fatal.

Compared to cops, truckers are lesser evils. But it is a pertinent question to ask - why are cops targeting truckers mainly and not general private vehicles? Isn't it indicative that truckers do indulge in illegal things? And hence more susceptible to paying bribe?

Last edited by sbraj : 26th March 2010 at 23:42.
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Old 26th March 2010, 23:52   #36
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As an example, it is difficult at times at night to see a truck running without proper rear lamps. It could turn out to be fatal.
Most dangerous thing on the highway - one of teh things I dread the most when I am driving in the night.

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Compared to cops, truckers are lesser evils. But it is a pertinent question to ask - why are cops targeting truckers mainly and not general private vehicles? Isn't it indicative that truckers do indulge in illegal things? And hence more susceptible to paying bribe?
Maybe I'm doing a pyscho analysis here, but I suspect this has to do with the original socialist mindset in India that Govt is supreme and private (read business) is crooked. The cops target truckers because they know they are on a commercial errand, earning money, and also have money to spare. Unlike a private car owner. Besides, private car guys cannot give away much and moreover, can be a headache especially if they start dropping connections. There are 101 ways to harass a trucker - overloading, incorrect documents, illiteracy of the drivers, etc. Moreover, for truckers it is not only the traffic cops but also the Sales Tax inspectors, excise inspectors, forest officials and the RTO guys after them.
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Old 27th March 2010, 00:03   #37
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I endorse what Kumar says. A cop or any sort of inspector can inevitably find fault with a truck, driver, contents, weight, papers, lights, tires, permits, language barrier, out of state licence plates, etc. In the very very rare case that everything is in order, the cops still extract money from the trucker.

Private car guys are more educated, papers in order, and many of us refuse to pay especially if the papers are clear. However, there is potential then for cops to foist false cases on you...wrongful overtaking, cutting signal, etc, and challan you heavily. There is also an element of us versus them in all of this......us poor scum making the rich guy in his aircon car squirm and call me saar. So, if your papers are in order, refuse to pay. However, also ensure you have enough clout to be able to get out of whatever fake situation they might challan you with.
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Old 27th March 2010, 02:08   #38
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I agree with HV and DJANGO, @sbraj-- The reason why they are harassed apart from the ones mentioned above is targets that everyone tries to achive at the expense of others. Like policeman has targets to his pockets and to local politician that he has to make happy(Maya**ti type birthday bashes), Sand lorry owners who want to carry as much sand they can in night etc. I spoke to a highway lorry driver once on a petrol bunk on tumkur road--he said there is such a big network of these dressed crooks that we have to pay a fixed amount to them every month which goes till top politician else we shall never see the road again. He also accepted the fact that they do sometimes overload in order to save costs but that gets equaled after paying the bribe. I asked him why they keep trucks in bad shape--he said except highways the roads elsewhere are so bad that this cause immense trouble to maintain them but they cant help it as the road contracter, who again is running for India's most corrupt idol award, charted away with money after building shabby roads, causing trucks to slowdown this inturn helps policemen which find easy to cath a slow truck than a speeding one.
So it is like a corruption cycle that is growing so fast uncontrollably and is slowing down Indian economy in every domain.
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